Focus: How Long‑term Planning Processes Can Improve State‑Led Turnaround in Connecticut

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The focus of this report, commissioned by the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) and executed by a research team at the Neag School of Education of the University of Connecticut, is to provide insights into how Connecticut’s 30 Alliance Districts—those with the greatest need and a large external investment by the state to support improvement—articulate their yearly improvement plans. It was also to begin to ascertain how these different articulations may relate to different aspects of improved performance.

  • Click here to access the full report by the Neag School of Education.
  • Click here for CCER’s policy implications.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CCER’s 2016 Policy Progress Report

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Each year, we hold ourselves accountable by tracking the number of policies from our original 10-year policy plan to narrow the achievement gap that have been implemented in Connecticut. 

In 2012, Connecticut passed landmark education legislation aimed at closing Connecticut’s achievement gap. However, creating meaningful and lasting change requires transforming these policies into practice. Because the key to success is continuous, measurable improvement over time, we use a rubric to quantitatively chart our long-term progress in both passing and implementing these critical levers for change.

At the end of 2016, we found that over 37% of our priorities had been fully implemented. And we embedded our policy progress report into our website so that we can track change in real time.

  • Click here to access the full report. You’ll find our six priority areas, and–within each–the specific policy recommendations we support. At the bottom of each policy area is a rubric that explains how we’ve allotted points.)
  • Click here for a one-page overview of the rubrics.

 

 

 

 

CCER’s 2016 Impact Report

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This quick report tracks our latest progress in narrowing the achievement gap in Connecticut. As you’ll see from this report, we primarily do our work by: (1) supporting the highest need public school districts; (2) advocating for state-level policy solutions; and (3) promoting public awareness about the need for change.

Click here to access this report.

 

 

 

CT’s Special Education Funding Dilemma

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In order to alleviate some financial burden, the state of Connecticut administers an Excess Cost Grant to assist school districts with extraordinary special education costs. But he state’s Excess Cost Grant is not designed to reimburse school districts for all of their special education costs. Rather, it only covers a certain reimbursable percentage that fluctuates from year to year. Moreover, the Excess Cost Grant is usually not fully funded by the state. Thus, even with state assistance, districts are still facing the same dilemma every year: allocating funding for special education costs without knowing how much will be needed each year or what percentage will be reimbursed.

This short brief explores the impact of Excess Cost Grant shortfalls by reviewing the history behind this funding, some of the challenges it creates, and a case study of one district.

Click here to download.

The Benefits and Challenges of Student-Based Budgeting

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Student-based budgeting—also called weighted student funding and fair student funding—is a method of allocating public school funds in a way that is responsive to students’ needs. Although this concept is relatively new, it has gained popularity in school districts across the country.

This short brief explores the benefits and challenges associated with student-based budgeting.

Click here to download.

Funding Public Schools in Difficult Economic Times

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Connecticut has just tackled a projected $960 million deficit for the 2016-17 fiscal year. This shortfall meant cuts in every aspect of state funding, including a significant impact on the state’s education system.  The Education Cost Sharing (ECS) Grant, the state’s largest education grant, was cut $32.1 million which included a $6.8 million decrease in Alliance District funding. There were also cuts to magnet schools, the Priority School District program and the Excess Cost Grant allocation. Such cuts will likely lead municipalities to provide greater contributions to funding the school district, requiring increases in local property taxes and/or a reduction in the school districts’ current levels of service.

This short brief explores options for districts when state and local budgets are tight. (It includes a quote from Charles Zettergren, President of CASBO.)

Click here to download.

 

CCER’s 2015 Policy Progress Report

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Each year, we hold ourselves accountable by tracking the number of policies from our original 10-year policy plan to narrow the achievement gap that have been implemented in Connecticut. 

In 2012, Connecticut passed landmark education legislation aimed at closing Connecticut’s achievement gap. However, creating meaningful and lasting change requires transforming these policies into practice. Because the key to success is continuous, measurable improvement over time, we use a rubric to quantitatively chart our long-term progress in both passing and implementing these critical levers for change.

At the end of 2015, we found that over 37% of our priorities had been fully implemented. And we embedded our policy progress report into our website so that we can track change in real time.

  • Click here to access the full report. You’ll find our six priority areas, and–within each–the specific policy recommendations we support. At the bottom of each policy area is a rubric that explains how we’ve allotted points.)
  • Click here for a one-page overview of the rubrics.

 

 

 

CCER’s 2015 Policy Progress Report

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Each year, we hold ourselves accountable by tracking the number of policies from our original 10-year policy plan to narrow the achievement gap that have been implemented in Connecticut. 

In 2012, Connecticut passed landmark education legislation aimed at closing Connecticut’s achievement gap. However, creating meaningful and lasting change requires transforming these policies into practice. Because the key to success is continuous, measurable improvement over time, we use a rubric to quantitatively chart our long-term progress in both passing and implementing these critical levers for change.

At the end of 2015, we found that over 37% of our priorities had been fully implemented. And we embedded our policy progress report into our website so that we can track change in real time.

  • Click here to access the full report. You’ll find our six priority areas, and–within each–the specific policy recommendations we support. At the bottom of each policy area is a rubric that explains how we’ve allotted points.)
  • Click here for a one-page overview of the rubrics.

 

 

 

CCER’s 2014 Policy Progress Report

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Each year, we hold ourselves accountable by tracking the number of our our policies that are implemented each year from our original 10-year policy plan to narrow the achievement gap.

While last year’s report tracked the tremendous progress that was made over several years, this year’s report shows that progress has slowed. We must do more in 2015!

Download The 2014 Report Now

CCER’s 2013 Policy and Progress Report

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Each year, we hold ourselves accountable by tracking the number of our our policies that are implemented each year from our original 10-year policy plan to narrow the achievement gap.

In 2013, we added a series of quantifiable metics to measure our success as a state in passing and implementing these reform policies, and to identify the steps that remain to improve public education in Connecticut.

This year’s report shows that Connecticut has already successfully implemented over 30% of CCER’s policy recommendations!

Download The Report Now

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